My excuse this time is that I have had twins. Now that we have a routine going, blogging will become a habit. I have a rockstar toddler who gives me at least a 3 hour nap each day... most of the time it's over 4!
Here is the "birthday story" for Piper Grace and Jude. Buckle up.
Grant and I had an appointment with the high risk specialist on March 28th. We had noticed a few days earlier that the twins were measuring a significant amount apart. The term the doctors used was "discordant twins". I had explained this in my last post before this one. So, when we went to the high risk specialist they ran a test on the twins using an ultrasound. In this test, they had to score an 8 out of 8 to get a 100% grade but they both scored a 6 out of 8. Basically there are areas that they look at such as the twins practicing breathing, measurements, etc. Since they scored a 6 out of 8, the high risk doctor didn't seem extremely worried but they wanted me to immediately go see my OB (which we had planned on anyways after this appointment...they were in the same building). The HR doctor said that the twins being discordant wasn't a huge problem at this point because they were at like a 23% difference and the HR doctor said he gets concerned at a higher percentage. So, we scheduled another appointment with the HR doctor in 2 weeks and then went down to see my OB.
He wanted to monitor the twins heartbeats but the office wasn't set up to do that so he sent Grant and I down to the Baptist Women's hospital and the doctor said he would meet us down there shortly. He had me schedule another appointment with them on Friday before we went down to the hospital. This was a Wednesday and I was 36 weeks at this point. We left there and text our families that today was not the day that they were going to be born.
We checked in at the hospital and Grant and I made a bet once they hooked me up to the monitors. I bet the twins would be here today and he bet otherwise. I was hooked up for a little over an hour and during that time I started to have contractions and they hurt. Before I had several Braxton Hicks but nothing consistent. We had actually been up to the hospital once to have them checked out. But, these were different and they hurt. Because they hurt so bad, I was moving & squirming around a tad and because of that, they had to reposition my monitors a few times. But, after about an hour and a half on the monitors, my doctor came down to visit and said he wasn't liking the way Piper Grace's heartrate was going crazy (same issue with Maks) so he said "Well, it looks like today is the day!" I asked him what his reasons were for wanting to go ahead with my C-section and he said that her heartbeat was a huge concern for him and he didn't want to risk anything...and we agreed. I honestly think that having my "real" contractions start at that exact time wasn't a fluke...it was something the Lord had planned and he wasn't about to let me leave the hospital with out having these babies.
After that everything went CRAZY fast. Seriously. My ER nurse came in and I asked her how soon this would be happening and she said as soon as she could prep me for surgery. Grant and I got on our phones and started texting the mess out of our families telling them that we had mistaken and today WAS the day the twins were coming to meet us! Since that day was a Wednesday, my Mom had Maksim and he was down for a nap...we were nervous she wouldn't make it in time but she woke him up and made it. I might be wrong, but I believe Grant's Mom, Debbie, was the first there. I can imagine her getting the text and pretty much running out of her office shouting why as she went out the door. I know that day was crazy for everyone! I know I had forgot to text people who I wanted to know, but that was the least of my worries at that time. The fun part about this is that in the course of them "getting me ready" for surgery, we were probably introduced to 15 different people who would be in the delivery room and LUCKILY someone saw on Facebook that we were going into surgery and our friend, Kerry Griggs, who had been in the operating/delivery room for Maks made it right on time for the twins. She was a blessing because I felt I could ask her questions very candidly.
So, we get wheeled into the operating room where it all went down. I promise you, I think it was the same room that I was in for my C-section with Maksim (it was only 18 months later so i remember it pretty vividly.) Everyone was prepping the room, people were having me sign off on stuff, asking me questions, and then the anesthesiologist was about to give me my meds. I forget what they call it but it's an epidural that is more direct and works quicker than when I was induced. Once again, that didn't hurt...it was a breeze, but I did start shaking pretty badly and crying. I asked Kerry if that was b/c of the medicine and she said that and a combination of my nerves. I couldn't quit crying during the whole thing.
I didn't even know they had started the procedure until Grant told me. I am trying to recall everything and I believe Piper Grace was the first one they took out and she didn't cry immediately and neither did Jude. Jude took a little longer to cry and that made me nervous, I remember. I don't remember a whole lot about if they let Grant hold Piper Grace and Jude but I do remember vividly them telling me that Jude would have to go to the NICU for observation because of his size and lungs.
My first thoughts were shock honestly because I had kind of thought that my kids would be immune to going to the NICU. I am not sure why...every book about multiples I read said that most multiples spend some time in the NICU. I just skimmed over those parts and figured I would read them if the need arose...right...like I would have had time to read. Still in my mind, this NICU visit was in hours, not days. Little did I know Jude would be in there 20 days. No exaggeration that this was one of the most challenging times in my life. Honestly, the fact of the matter was that we were lucky that Piper Grace didn't have to be in there, too. So, when you look at it that way...we were lucky.
They wheel us back to the postpartum floor where I would be for the next 4 nights. I had bought a delivery gown from "PUSH! Delivery Gowns" (Pray Until Something Happens...so cute!) and my doctor wouldn't let me get it before surgery and he said I wouldn't want it anyway until afterwards. So, my sweet nurse helped me get it on...remember I was still numb so it was pretty funny. She said she had never dressed a Mom before.
So, Grant and I went to recovery for probably an hour and Grant went to fill in the family while I "recovered" and got feeling back then I was moved to my room where I would be for 5 days/4 nights.
I remember that Piper Grace stayed with me in the room (we put her in the nursery a few times but I felt guilty doing that when I didn't have one of my kids with me) and we had several visitors throughout those days. We got adjusted to our new little girl while trying to visit our little boy in the NICU as much as possible.
The NICU was a pretty difficult place to be. The nurses (most of them) were super sweet and very informative but it's not really a place you want to visit more than once. I remember visiting my friends baby in there years before and after having a child in there I realized how extremely difficult my friend had it. And, the fact of the matter was that Jude was one of the better cases in the NICU. He never needed oxygen, never had to be incubated, etc. He just didn't learn to eat for a few weeks. He had to eat a certain amount on his own in a certain amount of time and he didn't pick up on it. It felt like forever that he was in there.
I remember a particularly hard day. I was still in the hospital recovering from my C-section (which was a breeze this time. I had cried to one of my OB's and I think he felt sympathy for me and let me stay in the hospital as long as he could so I could be close to Jude) and that day had just been super hard. I remember that Maks was visiting at the hospital and wanting me to play with him, it was time to feed Piper Grace and we were coming up on one of Jude's feeding times. I felt I had to choose between the three of my kids. I felt very torn. I went down to the NICU on my own and just cried to one of the nurses. She was very sweet and just listened. I think they must be trained for situations like that.
To make a long NICU stay short, Jude was eventually moved to the step down unit about 2 weeks in then we took him home 20 tough days after his birth.
Meanwhile, at home, we were getting adjusted to having a new baby at home and waking up every 2 hours to nurse, bottle feed (to make sure she was getting the amount she needed), and pumping. So, by the time I finished all that, it was time to start over again. It was very tiring. Oh, and did I mention trying to see Jude once a day- 45 minutes away from home each way... And Grant had to return to work. Looking back, it seems like it was horrible, but I can see God there and things weren't as horrible as they sounded. We were thankful for two healthy babies- even if one couldn't immediately come home. It could have been worse.
Now, my blog will consist of what life is like as a newly staying-at-home Mom and how easy that is. Ha!!! Just kidding. I have a new found respect for Moms who stay at home. It's not a 9-5 job.
I will leave with this. Grant is awesome as a Daddy. God is amazing and we are overly blessed! Hopefully more consistent blogs to come!